
Investment Choices
Marsha Davis and Floyd Vest

Mathematics Topic: Percents, Statistics 
Application Areas: Investment, Finance 
Prerequisites: Students need to be able to calculate
percentages. They should have some
familiarity with compound interest
formulas (or you will need to introduce
the topic). 

In this PullOut, students
consider three types of
investments: currencybased,
nonproductive assets, and
productive assets. In Activity 1,
students determine annual rates of
the return on gold investments (nonproductive
asset) and then adjust
those rates for inflation and taxes. In
Activity 2, students calculate the
percentage increase and/or decrease
in gold prices over a variety of time
periods. The concept of investment
bubbles is introduced. In Activity 3,
students compare growth in S&P 500
stocks (productiveassets
investments) to treasury bills
(currencybased investments).
Activity 4 is an exercise set in which
students can apply what they have
learned in Activities 1–3.
